Masashi Yamamoto thinks Honda left Formula 1 too early. He admits this in conversation with Motorsport. The Japanese understands the decision of the company he works for, but doubts whether Honda’s term in the premier class should have come to an end. He also dreams of the moment when the brand will return to F1.
Yamamoto, who until recently served as Honda F1 general manager, has been asked if he thinks Honda’s exit from F1 is premature. “Personally, I think so,” he admits. “However, this is a company decision and I understand the direction Honda wants to take. That’s why we have to accept the choice.’ Honda indicated at the end of 2020 that it wanted to fully focus on electric driving. That is why it saw no future in F1.
A return to the sport does not rule out Yamamoto. “We can always dream about Honda making a comeback in Formula 1 someday,” he continues. It is not the first time that Yamamoto has expressed his wish to remain active in the top class. Incidentally, according to recent reports, Yamamoto seems to be taken over by Red Bull Racing. He will remain active in the motorcycle department of the Austrian racing stable.
Honda changes its attitude
Knowing that 2021 would be the last year they would work with Red Bull, Honda had to make the most of the year. “Of course it is sad, but we already knew it in October 2020. So we also knew that we had to give everything in 2021,” says the Honda CEO. Thanks in part to the work of Honda, Max Verstappen was able to win his first world championship last season.
‘We have worked with a different attitude and made decisions in a different way. We tried to get the most out of it in the time we still had in the sport,” he concludes. So Honda saw the need to go for a final sprint, which paid off. The material developed in 2021 will continue to be used by Red Bull in the coming seasons.